HA note: The following is reprinted with permission from Kathryn Brightbill’s blog The Life and Opinions of Kathryn Elizabeth, Person. It was originally published on November 30, 2013.
For those of you who aren’t entirely up to speed, Peter Bradrick is a Vision Forum intern turned executive assistant to Doug Phillips. He doesn’t work for Vision Forum any longer, but even after he left as an employee he was involved in their “Hazardous Journeys” trips, and was pretty much BFFs with Doug. He’s married to the daughter of Scott Brown (not the politician, the one who’s head of the National Center for Family Integrated Churches, an organization that Doug was on the board of until his scandal broke).
Anyway, everybody close to Doug and Vision Forum—Peter included—have been tight-lipped about Doug’s affair and the closing of Vision Forum Ministries. Tight-lipped until now, that is. As late as the end of Thanksgiving night, 11/28, Peter’s Facebook was locked down and all but a few random posts from months ago were private. That changed day after Thanksgiving when Peter made the following posts public on Facebook. I’ll post them chronologically below.
Dear friends, after a long and weary season of business failure and more recently significant shock and disappointment regarding a very tender matter close to me, I am planning on going off Facebook and other public platforms for a season. This is motivated solely because I want to focus on my private life. However, I know this will be misinterpreted by many, particularly since there has been a troubling silence regarding a recent difficult public situation. Before I go “offline” there are things that I need to share. In the coming days and weeks I will be sharing my heart with my friends regarding some difficult things that need to be said. After which, I hope to transition to a season of life focused on a new direction in business, focused on personal spiritual growth, and focused on my precious wife and children.
I apologize to many of you who have reached out and contacted me in the past days and weeks, and to whom I have not responded. I ask for mercy and understanding knowing many of you will realize this is a VERY difficult time for me and my family. I am attempting to exercise discretion, and to faithfully exercise my limited duties in this recent situation. In line with that, I have been leery of talking to many of you to whom I owe calls, emails, texts and FB messages back to, because I am committed to not “feed the gossip mill”, or pass on dainty morsels. And just not talking has been one way I have attempted to walk a very difficult line in a very messy situation.
Greater knowledge brings with it greater responsibility, particularly for those who have had close relationships with those involved. I’ve attempted to only communicate with people that have reason to know at this point. Please be patient with me. I promise I still love and care for each of you, and hope that you will understand.
The past decade of my life has been defined by my close relationship with my mentor and former spiritual father. Those who know me recognize my longstanding, fierce commitment to his family, his work, and his legacy. As soon as I caught wind of what was going on, I became very involved in working towards fulfilling the duties of friendship and brotherhood – to confront a man who has been like a father to me for a third of my life and plead with him to truthfully confess, and to genuinely take responsibility for longstanding betrayal of everything we had fought together for with the hope of ultimate restoration.
Friends… truth and justice are mercy. Covering sin is not mercy. (Proverbs 28:13, “He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.”) This was the message of the men that joined me to go in person to plead with him. Men he’s called “bosom brothers”, son’s in the Lord, close friends, and a mentor of his. What for us was a tender, emotional, mission of mercy and plea for true repentance was met with something, and by someone I never could have imagined. Instead of being received as the “wounds of a friend” (Proverbs 27:6), I was formally disowned and declared to be a “destroyer” to my face.
There is no way to describe the soul crushing blow I was dealt that day and it’s overall impact on my life. It’s was like experiencing the scene from Braveheart… where William Wallace finds out he’s been betrayed by Robert the Bruce, over and over again. Walking away from that meeting, I couldn’t speak for hours I was so stunned. I am still physically, emotionally and spiritually broken and asking God to give me wisdom. I know many people are so very hurt and confused regarding what has transpired and my prayer for myself, my family, and everyone involved is that we look to Christ alone with hearts of love, mercy, and repentance seeking to root out the sin in our own lives. Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.
Particularly worth noting is the comment left by Joe Morecraft, himself a well-known figure in the Reformed part of the patriarchy world. The comment reinforces the idea that Doug Phillips still is not repentant and those in his circles are well aware of that reality.
“For one thousand years, this principle has guided Western civilization. Simply stated, that principle is this: the groom dies for the bride, the strong suffer for the weak, and the highest expression of love is to give one’s life for another. The men aboard the Titanic recognized their duty because they had been raised in a culture that implicitly embraced such notions. Only by returning to these foundations can we ever hope to live in a society in which men will make the self-conscious decision to die so that women and children may live. This is the true legacy of the Titanic.” Douglas Phillips
When those who champion “women and children first” hide behind smooth words instead of “suffering for the weak”… When the strong take advantage of the weak, and then turn them out like so much garbage… When the strong seize the lifeboats and leave the weak drowning in the icy water… it leaves no choice for men of God other than to rise up and oppose them when they discover the truth. Woe to those that do not.
Either Peter is positioning himself to take over and pick up the pieces, or this post looks like he’s completely had it and is fed up with being diplomatic about Doug Phillips. Even the third post where he talks about being “disowned” reads like something that had some thought put into it. This post looks like when I get royally fed up and go on a Facebook tirade.
Also of note is this comment by close Phillips associate Bob Renaud:
Again, this time from someone much closer to Phillips than Morecraft is, another comment from someone who believes that Doug Phillips is still in active sin and unrepentance.
The real question is why go public now? Has something changed such that people are breaking their silence as a result? Or did Peter Bradrick just finally hit his breaking point as he realized he spent the last decade idolizing this man only to discover that everything he thought he knew was based on a lie?
Here’s hoping that this gets him to realize that Doug Phillips’ patriarchal vision is a pack of lies and he and his family are able to move on to a normal life in the real world outside of the crazy of fundamentalist homeschooling.
Meanwhile, I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop when the Vision Forum Ministries board starts trying to untangle the finances between the non-profit and Doug’s personally-owned for-profit Vision Forum, Inc. side of things. I keep hearing suspicions that the finances are seriously sketch.